Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Last Sunday San Clemente resident and Orange County Deputy Sheriff Erik Mansoor wrote a lengthy commentary in the Orange County Register addressing Interim Sheriff Jack Anderson's proposal to replace sheriff's deputies serving as jailers with civilian correction officers as a cost-cutting measure. Mansoor's commentary appears online HERE, although the Register failed to provide attribution. (Attribution added following my telephone call.) Under Anderson's plan, the deputies displaced would be re-assigned to the field jobs for which they had been trained. The plan seems to make sense from both a fiscal and tactical standpoint. Having highly trained deputies performing the duties of a jailer seems like a poor use of resources.

Unfortunately, the Register failed to identify Erik Mansoor as Costa Mesa former mayor - and current mayor pro tem - Allan Mansoor's brother. It also failed to tell it's readers that Allan Mansoor is an Orange County Deputy Sheriff - and a jailer.

Having read Erik Mansoor's several hundred word commentary offering a modification to Anderson's plan, it seems to me that one could surmise that he is simply trying to protect his brother's cushy job in the jail - a position which provides him the opportunity to play in local politics.

Then I find out later that Erik Mansoor is also a jailer... guess he's trying to protect the "family business".

Labels: ,

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Andy Rooney's Holocaust & Costa Mesa

WARNING! This blog entry is guaranteed to make every reader uncomfortable. Proceed at your own risk.
I suspect most of you are familiar with Andy Rooney, a corresp
ondent on the enduring CBS television program, "60 Minutes". Those of you who watch "60 Minutes" know Rooney as a curmudgeonly fellow who closes the show each week with a couple minutes of his alleged wit. Usually he says nothing, but says it cleverly and gets paid well to do it.

For the past several weeks I've been crawling my way through "My War" - the best selling memoir of his experiences during World War II. It's taking me a long time because I frequently find myself angry at him, so I just stop until I cool off. Sometimes that takes several days.


Although he's written more than a dozen books, if you read this book you will disco
ver the real Andy Rooney - a spoiled, obnoxious member of the liberal elite from an early age. At nearly 90 years of age, Rooney apparently feels he has somehow earned the right to smear war heroes like General George F. Patton and others, because he does so freely in the book.


That being said, parts of it are quite interesting as a first-person account of that terrible war, so I'm
committed to finish it - soon. But that's not really the point of this entry.

Near the end of th
e book - and the war - Rooney describes his visit to a couple of concentration camps, Buchenwald and Thekla. Now, I'm not a stranger to the existence of such places - I've seen many documentaries and read several accounts of the conditions in them. I must admit, though, that every time I see the images and read the descriptions by observers and those who survived the camps I cringe, appalled that human beings could do such things to other human beings.

In this section of his book, while describing things he saw, Rooney makes the following statement: (The emphasis is mine)
"One of the devilish aspects of this crusade against the Jews was the necessity the Germans felt for making the extermi
nation of Jews legal. I don't think Americans know about it. Whatever the Nazis wanted to do, they first arranged to have a law passed that made the action legal. They did not, as it might seem, simply haul Jews off the streets and out of their homes without being able to justify it in their own minds and according to laws that had been enacted. There were laws that covered every despicable act."


He went on to describe sections of a document written and produced by the Reichstag in 1935 entitled, "The Nuremberg Laws on Race and Citizenship, 1935", which defined the position
- or lack thereof - of Jews in German society shortly before the outbreak of World War II. He quotes liberally (no pun intended) from the chapter entitled, "Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor", which includes specific descriptions of what constitutes being a Jew.


When I reached this section of his book and read the paragraph above I just paused because it struck a chord with me. I read and re-read it and realized that the concept described in it had a very familiar ring.

Our town, Costa Mesa, is a city in southern California of around 110,000 souls - depending on how many alleged illegal aliens remain after the current purge. Most of the folks who live in our city are fine people - hardworking and dedicated to making a good life for their families. We call ourselves "The City of the Arts" because we are home to an exceptional Performing Art
s complex and seem to have more than our fair share of creative types. Heck, our current mayor is an artist of sorts who, until he decided to run for public office, wore his hair in a long pigtail - a sure sign of an artistic self-perception.


We are a diverse community, with a third of our population being of Hispanic heritage - some of whom are almost certainly not in this country legally. Those folks came here for a better life and work hard to achieve it.

Unfortunately, there are among us a few people who object to their presence and, for the past few years, have methodically gone about making life difficult for them by passing laws to oppress them, dissolving government sup
port entities such as the Job Center and the Human Relations Committee, pressuring and defunding charitable support groups, etc.

When I read that paragraph in italics above I realized that the theme applies
to our city - and it made me ashamed.


No, I'm not accusing every person in this city who has spoken out against illegal immigrants of being Nazis, although there is a powerful presence in this
city that denies the existence of the holocaust. What I am saying is that much of the legal foundation for ousting folks of Hispanic heritage from our city is in place or is being planned. Our former mayor - currently the mayor pro tem - hatched a scheme a couple years ago to train every Costa Mesa police officer as an immigration screener. That was headed off, but the melody lingered in the form of an federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent being assigned to our jail to personally screen every person arrested and taken to our facility.


Originally, the former mayor assured his constituents that he only wanted to get dangerous alien felons off the streets, and that there would be no sweeps. Few
in the Hispanic community believed him, rightly so, as it turns out. The enforcement and screening effort has, indeed, taken some dangerous felons off our streets, but it's also snatched up individuals for minor infractions which resulted in their deportation. In some cases, this resulted in their families being left behind, including their American citizen children.

Some supporters of the plan proclaim that those people were law-breakers because they came to our country
illegally. No argument there, but that "crime" hardly fits the former mayor's assurance to the city.


The city has had a non-solicitation ordinance in place for almost two decades with which our police can managed loitering day-laborers, but currently there is a movement afoot to pass a more stringent ordinance to create more law-breakers, who can then be scooped up and sent packing.


There are those who espouse the use of eminent domain to yank property from their current owners, to be bulldozed and replaced with artist lofts and high-end h
omes. Most of those places to be demolished provide housing and/or jobs for members of the laboring class in our city, many of whom are of Hispanic heritage and some are certainly here illegally.

Those same strident voices decry the impact of children of immigrants on our school system. Most of those children are American citizens. Despite much progress being made in the integration of those children into the system, there seems to be a cadre of folks in our town that are determined to force them out.

In my view, the parallels between what's currently happ
ening in my city and the events in pre-war Germany are clear and undeniable.

It's a sad commentary on the societal attitudes of a few peo
ple in our city.

Labels: , ,